Kutztown, PA (June 17) – Milford, NJ’s Billy Pauch Jr. recorded his 14th career SpeedSTR victory on Sunday night at the Championship Energy Action Track USA on the Kutztown Fairgrounds. He is the all-time leader in USAC All Pro SpeedSTR wins at the Berks County oval, and Sunday’s triumph moves him ahead of Tim Buckwalter by two victories.
Joining Pauch in the Father’s Day/ Scout Night winner’s circle were Danny Buccafusca and Damon Paul (Hyper Racing 600 Sprint winners), Nick Del Campo and Dylan Hoch (All Star Slingshot victors). Two of the main events (won by Buccafusca and Del Campo) were run on Sunday after being postponed by rain on June 3rd.
In a surprising announcement by co-promoter Doug Rose, the Sunday, June 24 event has been canceled due to an accidental scheduling snafu between the Kutztown Fair Board, the upcoming Folk Festival, and the speedway owners. Racing will now resume at Action Track USA on Wednesday, July 11, when the SpeedSTRs will make up their rained out feature from June 3 and the 600 Sprints will compete in the Tri-Track Challenge. That race offers a $1,000 payday to the winner (with Gambler’s Fee). The All Star Slingshots will also be on the card on July 11.
“My week started with a flip (in a Modified at Albany-Saratoga in NY), then we ran second to Steve (Buckwalter) here, but it ended well with a (Modified) win at New Egypt last night and now a win in the SpeedSTR here at Kutztown. That’s not a bad Father’s Day weekend,” noted Pauch Jr. after his victory on Sunday night. “Really have to thank my guys; they are the key to running well and winning and I couldn’t do it without them.”
Brad Brightbill grabbed the early lead and appeared headed for his first SpeedSTR win since 2015. Briggs Danner, Tim Iulg, and 12th-starting Pauch battled behind Brightbill until the leader spun in turn four with 13 tours complete. That put Pauch into the top spot and he made the most of his good fortune, surviving a challenge from Iulg and then fending off Danner in the closing laps to notch his second SpeedSTR triumph of the season and increase his point lead.
“That kid,” said Pauch as he nodded in Danner’s direction after the race, “is good and only getting better. His time is coming; I hope to be racing with him until I get too old to do this anymore.”
Danner wished a late race restart, with three laps remaining, would have been in double-file formation. “My car was really working on the top, and I think I might have been able to get him if I could have been on the outside of him for that restart.”
Matt Janisch started 19th, was involved in a huge pileup in turn one – with almost half the field – with four circuits complete, then surgically weaved his way through traffic to record a solid third place finish. “My car was terrible in the heat race. We made some adjustments and were much better in the feature. I love this kind of track…it was slick and you really had to work the throttle and pedal it through the corners. It was a real driver’s track tonight.”
Andy Haus and Earl Paules completed the top five.